The fields have been shortened to just 8, but countless seeds have fallen before the weekend’s play has even begun. 5 seeds have fallen in the men’s singles and the women’s singles, as well as the top seeds in the mixed.
One seed that is safely through to the last 8 is top seeded Joachim Persson, who defeated Magnus Sahlberg in Round 1 and Alex Pang of Canada in Round 2, both in two games to book his place against Petr Koukal, the 7th seed from the Czech Republic. Koukal is through to the last 8 without the loss of a game either.
The next quarterfinal is an all-Spanish matchup, as Pablo Abian overcame 4th seed Peter Mikkelsen, who pulled out in the 3rd game with injury. Indra Bagus Ade Chandra of Spain is also through; defeating 6th seeded Wong Wing Ki 21-19, 23-21 to book his place in tomorrow’s quarterfinal.
Singapore’s Robin Gonansa is through to the last 8, after Stephan Wojcikiewicz pulled out before the match after the Canadian beat 5th seed Dmytro Zavadsky in the opening round. Gonansa will play Hiroyuki Saeki of Japan, who defeated the 3rd seeded Christian Lind Thomsen 22-20, 21-17 to book his place in the last 8. Another Japanese player, Shuhei Hayasaki defeated Vladimir Malkov, the 8th seed from Russian to set up a quarterfinal match against Poland’s 2nd seed Przemyslaw Wacha.
Beiwin Zhang, the top seed from Singapore is through to the last 8 with two convincing victories to this stage, she will play Wang Lin Lang of Indonesia in the last 8 after the Indonesian defeated 7th seed Tatjana Bibik of Russia 23-21, 21-8 to progress.
Unseeded Japanese player, Kana Ito defeated 3rd seeded Rachel Van Cutsen to book her place in tomorrow’s quarterfinal against Austria’s Simone Prutsch, she defeated Rachel Howard who beat the 8th seed Elena Prus in the opening round. Olga Golovanova is through to the last 8 after a 21-17, 21-17 victory over Maja Tvrdy, the 6th seed from Slovenia. She will play the 4th seed Chan Tsz Ka of Hong Kong for a place in the semi final.
Anastasia Prokopenko is the 5th unseeded player in the last 8, after beating Larisa Griga 21-11, 21-14 in the second round. She will play the 2nd seed Judith Meulendijks in the quarters, with the Dutch seed coming through both her matches easily in 2 games.
In an event that promised so much for the Polish crowd, they have seen their chances in this event shortened to just one pair. Top seeded Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostiuczyk crashed out in the opening match to Hong Kong suo Wong and Chau in three games. Polish qualifiers Ociepa and Rudolf crashed out in the second round to Pang and Li of Canada.
The 4th seeds, Szkudiarczyk and Wotjtkowsa are Poland’s last hope in the competition; they will play Singapore pairing of Triyachart and Yao for a place in the last 4. Another Polish couple Moren and Pocztowiak crashed out in round 2 to Neo and Chrisnanta of Singapore.
The only other seed left in the draw is the 2nd seeds, Atrashchenkov and Prus of Ukraine, who came through a tight 3 game match with Wilson-Smith and Warfe of New Zealand 13-21, 21-13, 21-19.
This week’s event in Poland is one of the last events before the European Championships in Manchester next month and has attracted some of the big names in European badminton to play themselves into form ahead of next month’s European Championships.
The top seed is Joachim Persson who is coming off a poor 2-week run in the Super Series, losing out to Kenichi Tago in Round 2 in the All England and another second round defeat to Chen Jin in Switzerland last week. His campaign this week begins against the Swede Magnus Sahlberg before a potential 2nd round encounter with Ville Lang of Finland.
Christian Lind Thomsen (Seeded 3) and Peter Mikkelsen (Seeded 4) lead a strong Danish squad looking for success in the men’s singles draw. Przemyslaw Wacha is the local hope in the competition, seeded 2 but there is also threats from the Ukranian Dmtyro Zavadsky, seeded 5 and Petr Koukal of the Czech Republic, seeded 7. Vladimir Malkov of Russia is another threat, seeded 8.
Singapore’s top seed Zhang Beiwen starts her campaign against rising Belgian starlet Lianne Tan, hoping to past her semi final defeat to Gu Juan in last week’s event behind her. The other potential winners of the event coming from the Netherlands and Ukraine, with Judith Meulendijks and Rachel Van Cutsen leading the Dutch charge. Larisa Griga and Elena Prus are the big Ukrainan hopes.
Poland’s best chance of success lie with Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostiuczyk, however with their withdrawal at the semi final stage last week in Switzerland, questions will be asked if they are 100% fit to attempt to win on their home soil. Should they fail to deliver, two other Polish pairings are seeded. 3rd seeded Cwalina and Kurdieska and 4th seeded Szkudiarczyk and Motjkowska.
Coming into the match, Denmark had dropped just one match of the 19 matches that they had played. They were the clear favourites against Russia, but knew this would be their hardest match of the competition. Tine Rasmussen was expected to defeat Ella Diehl to take the lead in the match, and delivered in stunning fashion with a 21-8, 21-14 victory to give Denmark a 1-0 lead.
If Rasmussen’s win was expected, then Tatjana Bibik’s win was just as unexpected. A stunning 21-12, 21-11 upset over Camilla Sorensen levelled the match at 1-1. Denmark were to be shocked further, with Anastasia Prokopenko’s 3-game victory over Karina Jorgensen 19-21, 21-16, 21-16 putting Russia on the brink of a stunning upset and the title of European Champions.
The Danish doubles had to save the match, with Lena Frier Kristiansen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl taking on Tatjana Bibik and Olga Golovanova. 25 minutes later, the match was poised for a one-match play-off for the European title. With a 21-14, 21-14 win for the Danes. Helle Neilsen and Marie Ropke were given the opportunity to win the final rubber for Denmark. Prokopenko and Sorokina stood in the their way, after a tight 21-17 victory for the Danish. Russia then had a chance to win the second game, at 17-20. The Danes played five sensational points to take the game 22-20 and win the European title for Denmark, by 3 matches to 2.
In the 3rd/4th playoff, Germany easily defeated the Netherlands 3-0. Wins for Schenk over Stolzenbach, for Overzier and Marinello and for Karin Schnaase allowed Germany to qualify for the Uber Cup as the 3rd placed European side.
Peter Gade made his second appearance in the competition, after not being needed until the semi final stage. Europe’s #1 would play Przemyslaw Wacha in the opening match of the men’s final against Poland. Gade edged a tight opening game 21-16, the second game was another tight affair but Gade went from trailing 9-7 to lead 13-9 with a six point run and never looked back, taking the second game 21-17 and put Denmark 1-0 in the match.
Boe and Mogensen would play the Polish heroes of the semi final, Cwalina and Logosz. The Poles took a 15-12 lead in the opening game, before capitulating and conceding 9 straight points to gift the game to Boe and Mogensen. The second game was a similar story, Boe and Mogensen led 10-8 before the Poles allowed another 9 point run and gifted the second game and Denmark a 2-0 lead in the match.
Jan O Jorgensen had the opportunity to clinch the European title, with a win over Hubert Pazcek. Jorgensen took the opening game after some scoring consecutive points on a number of occasions to stretch out a lead before winning the opening game, 21-14. The second game started a lot tighter, with Pazcek leading 11-10 at the interval. Jorgensen responded with a 7-point run to take a 17-11 lead, it was a lead he was never going to give up and clinched the match and Denmark’s all important third match, 21-14, 21-13.
In the 3rd/4th playoff for a place in the Thomas Cup, Germany won 3-1 over Ukraine. Zweibler opened the match with a win over Zavadsky 21-16, 27-25. Dieter Domke suffered a three-game defeat over Atrashchenkov to level the match up, before Marcel Reuter regained Germany’s advantage with a straightforward win over Konov. Hopp and Scholetter completed the victory with a come from behind victory over Druzchenko and Atrashchenkov.
Tomorrow the last EBU circuit tournament of 2009 begins in Dublin, Ireland as qualifying rounds for the Irish International begin. The competition at this year’s event will be quite strong, perhaps one of the toughest events of the circuit this year.
While last year’s mens singles champion Rajiv Ouseph has moved on up in the world, England’s Carl Baxter is still here hoping to retain the title for England once again. Hometown favourite Scott Evans however will be hoping to go one further this year as he lost in the finals last year. The top seed Przemyslaw Wacha is probably the top contender for the title in Dublin this year.
Larisa Griga is the one to beat in the womens singles, however second seeded Susan Egelstaff will be hoping to continue her winning ways after her big win in Glasgow two weeks ago. Other notable contenders for the title include Bulgaria’s Linda Zetchiri and Finland’s Anu Nieminen.
For full draws and to view ongoing results visit the draws below:
Irish International Championships 2009 Draws